There was a laid-back, kampung quality in the parades of the 1970s, even as progress and industrialisation were the themes of many a colourful float.
Black shoe blues
That year, our contingent was dressed in white and we had to wear black walking shoes. As I did not have a pair of black shoes, I painted my white canvas shoes black. Just before the start of the parade, it started to drizzle and then the clouds opened. My black shoes began to show streaks of white. I felt so embarrassed but did not know if the others had noticed it. I can't remember how I made my way home back to Opera Estate in the east, but when I took off my shoes, my feet looked like they had gangrene. From my toes to my ankles, they were black and it took a couple of days to see my skin colour again.
MS GLORIA RAQUIZA, who participated in NDP 1968 as a trainee teacher in the teachers' contingent.
MS GLORIA RAQUIZA, 66
• Retiree who volunteers with youth with special needs.
• NDP 1968: Trainee teacher at the Teachers' Training College in Bukit Timah Campus and participant in the teachers' contingent.